Remote working: Do you have policies in place?

Jenni Barkley

March 20 2020

Coronavirus cases continue to rise. An option many employers might look into soon is that of employees working from home.

You may be one of the lucky few who already have homeworking policies in place. For others, this could be a first-time scenario.

Whatever your situation, there are a couple of things to bear in mind.

Responsibilities

As an employer, you have a duty of care towards your employees. This remains the same whether or not they work at another office, a client’s office or, indeed, at their own home.

However, certain practicalities will need to be taken into account during a homeworking situation. You will have to conduct a risk assessment of the property and ensure that the employee has everything they need to do their job properly.

Therefore, you may need to be prepared to make adjustments to your usual approach to this issue. Make sure the appropriate health & safety checks are outlined within company policy.

Concerns

You could be put off the idea of employees working remotely out of the fear that they might take advantage of the situation. For instance, you might be worried that some employees may end up binge-watching their favourite TV series instead of doing actual work.

However, if you’re transparent in your expectations of your employees who work at home, this is unlikely to be a real issue. Trusting your employees to carry out their tasks as normal is key to a successful transition to remote working.

Set targets

One of the best ways to approach remote working is to set targets for those employees working from home. Implementing a daily or weekly reporting system, where the employee lets you know what they have completed in that time frame, is essential. By doing this, you can maintain a degree of control over employee activities and ask them to justify why tasks are not being completed.

Company policy, and all homeworking agreements, should clarify that the company reserves the right to terminate the arrangement at any time if it’s not working. Also, make it clear to the employee that they could face disciplinary action if they exploit the situation.

As a result of the coronavirus, workplaces are having to close due to new government measures. Many more businesses may also have to close their offices in the coming weeks, making it all the more important to put remote working policies in place now.

Need our help?

If you would like further complimentary advice on remote working policies from an expert, our advisors are ready to take your call any time day or night. Call us on 0800 917 0771 or request a callback here.

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